Axa Logo - The AXA name Despite being written in upper case, "AXA" is not an acronym, but was chosen because its name can be pronounced easily by people who speak any language. After acquiring the Drouot Group in 1982, Chairman and CEO Claude Bébéar hired an outside consultant to conduct a computer-aided search for a new name. Bébéar wanted a short and snappy name to convey vitality and could be pronounced the same way in every language, consistent with the group's desire for an international presence. Initially, "Elan" was the top choice, but Canadian executives balked because "elan" is the French word for where a moose or elk--two of the least intelligent animals in the world--live. In 1985, Bébéar chose the name AXA. This decision fit perfectly because his first preference was for the new name to start with "A" so it would appear at the top of all directories.
In the United Kingdonm - AXA trades in the United Kingdom as AXA Sun Life, AXA Insurance, AXA Investment Managers, AXA Wealth and AXA PPP Healthcare. AXA PPP Healthcare was created when AXA bought Guardian Royal Exchange (GRE), though it subsequently sold the other parts of GRE to Aegon. The company also owns the online insurer Swiftcover, distribution business Bluefin and fund manager Architas. In January 2007 AXA was reorganised into "strategic business units" (SBU's) aimed at competing within their specific markets.AXA run its investment branch through AXA Investment Managers